IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/iuiwop/0715.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inequality and Trust

Author

Listed:

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on economic inequality and trust. Cross-country studies, within-country studies, and experiments all suggest that economic inequality exerts a negative influence on trust. Four mechanisms are proposed to explain the negative relationship: social ties (or networks), inference on social relationships (to see inequality as a signal of untrustworthy behavior), conflicts over resources, and opportunity cost of time. Social ties receive the strongest empirical support, but there is also some evidence in favor of inference on social relationships. Conflicts over resources and opportunity cost of time are contradicted by important pieces of evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordahl, Henrik, 2007. "Inequality and Trust," Working Paper Series 715, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0715
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ifn.se/Wfiles/wp/wp715.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gustavsson, Magnus & Jordahl, Henrik, 2008. "Inequality and trust in Sweden: Some inequalities are more harmful than others," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 348-365, February.
    2. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    3. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Trust, Inequality and Ethnic Heterogeneity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(258), pages 268-280, September.
    4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2006:i:4:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    6. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    7. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl, 2006. "Free to Trust: Economic Freedom and Social Capital," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 141-169, May.
    8. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    10. Dean Karlan & Markus Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat & Adam Szeidl, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1307-1361.
    11. Leigh, Andrew, 2006. "Does equality lead to fraternity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 121-125, October.
    12. Christian Bjørnskov, 2007. "Determinants of generalized trust: A cross-country comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 1-21, January.
    13. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2006. "The Effect of Relative Income Position on Social Capital," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(4), pages 1-20.
    14. Boix, Carles & Posner, Daniel N., 1998. "Social Capital: Explaining Its Origins and Effects on Government Performance," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 686-693, October.
    15. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    16. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Who are the trustworthy, we think?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 456-465, December.
    17. Niclas Berggren & Mikael Elinder & Henrik Jordahl, 2008. "Trust and growth: a shaky relationship," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 251-274, September.
    18. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
    19. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    20. Hilde Coffé & Benny Geys, 2006. "Community Heterogeneity: A Burden for the Creation of Social Capital?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(s1), pages 1053-1072.
    21. Atkinson, A.B. & Brandolini, A., 2000. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data -Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries," Papers 379, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
    22. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2007. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks: How Much is A Friend Worth?," NBER Working Papers 13135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2006. "Induced heterogeneity in trust experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 223-235, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Justina AV, 2008. "The Welfare Effects of Social Mobility," MPRA Paper 16339, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2009.
    2. Jesper Rözer & Gerbert Kraaykamp, 2013. "Income Inequality and Subjective Well-being: A Cross-National Study on the Conditional Effects of Individual and National Characteristics," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 1009-1023, September.
    3. Sander Steijn & Bram Lancee, 2011. "GINI DP 20: Does Income Inequality Negatively Affect General Trust? Examining three potential problems with the inequality-trust hypothesis," GINI Discussion Papers 20, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    4. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "Globalization and social networks," MPRA Paper 40404, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Xin, Guangyi, 2017. "Trust and Economic Performance: A Panel Study," MPRA Paper 80815, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence From 26 Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1542-1565, April.
    7. Eric Kemp-Benedict, 2013. "Inequality and Trust: Testing a Mediating Relationship for Environmental Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-10, February.
    8. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Social Capital and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    9. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of social capital on income distribution preferences: comparison of neighborhood externality between high- and low-income households," MPRA Paper 32557, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Ho-Kong Chan & Kit-Chun Lam & Pak-Wai Liu, 2011. "The Structure of Trust in China and the U.S," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 100(4), pages 553-566, June.
    11. Peng Wang & Jay Pan & Zhehui Luo, 2015. "The Impact of Income Inequality on Individual Happiness: Evidence from China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 413-435, April.
    12. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Social Mobility: An Analysis for OECD countries," MPRA Paper 17070, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trust; Inequality; Social Capital; Social Ties; Networks;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0715. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elisabeth Gustafsson). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iuiiise.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.